The latest generation of Honda Civic Type R, the FL5 has arrived. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Type R, including US, Japanese and European specifications.
Say hello to the latest and greatest from Honda’s hot hatch department, the Civic Type R FL5. Developing on the success of the FK8 Civic Type R, Honda has again released the car officially for the US market. However, its specifications do differ from that on offer in the UK and Japan. US customers will have to make do with only 315hp and 310lb ft of torque. Japanese and European customers get the full fat 330hp specification K20C1 engine.
Despite the detune, this is the most powerful Civic Type R the US market has ever received. Prices for the new FL5 Civic Type R start at $42,895 for US customers, while UK buyers will need to stump up £46,995. Japanese customers can get themselves an FL5 for ¥5,000,000 (around £31,000).
Honda Civic Type R FL5 performance figures
As mentioned above, US-spec FL5s make do with 315hp and 310lb ft, some 9hp and 15lb ft increase over the outgoing FK8. UK and Japanese cars are rated at 324bhp and 310lb ft of torque. The revised K20C1 engine makes use of a new turbocharger, revised exhaust and improved cooling to achieve the extra performance. Despite being 15hp down on Japanese and European-spec FL5 cars, 0-62mph is achieved in the same 5.4 seconds, going onto a 171mph top speed.
For the FL5, Honda has focused on improving the old chassis. There’s a longer wheelbase, a stiffer structure and wider tracks (25mm at the front, 19mm at the rear). The wheels are also smaller, down to 19s instead of the FK8’s 20s.
The exhaust flow rate is up 13 per cent. There are revised, lower suspension arms to improve camber rigidity by 16 percent. Rear body rigidity is up 15 per cent. An aluminum bonnet saves 43 per cent weight over the outgoing steel one. The flywheel is 18 per cent lighter, which reduces inertia by 25 per cent. The devil is in the detail, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
However, all of this has meant the new Honda Civic Type R FL5 has grown. It’s now more inline with the size of a BMW M3. It measures 4.6 meters long and near-as-dammit 1.9m wide.
Hot Hatch Hero
That being said, the fundamentals of hot hatch credibility are there. Front-wheel drive, 6-speed manual gearbox and a thumping great engine up front. And, despite having cleaner lines, the FL5 Type R develops more downforce than the outgoing FK8, some 100kg at 124mph.
It’s expensive alright, but given the toned down looks, the new Honda Civic Type R FL5 should appeal to a broader audience. Potentially even bringing in a more mature buyer at the same time. Sadly, that does mean it’s some $9,000 / £10,000 more than the FK8 Civic Type R. Without driving it, we can’t truly say whether that price jump is worth it or not.
It’s now on sale and the order books are open. Head over to the configurator to create yours!
Relevant content – Ultimate guide to every generation of Honda Civic Type R
Other changes on the Honda Civic Type R FL5
Honda has also improved cooling for track use and introduced a new rev-matching system that aims to reward the driver further with the six-speed manual gearbox. It’s also got a lighter flywheel. If it’s record-breaking lap around Suzuka is anything to go by, it should be pretty darn fast.
The usual array of driving modes return, but with a twist. Driver’s can now tailor their settings to their own driving style with a new Individual Mode. This mode joins Comfort, Sport, and R+ Mode. The different modes affect the engine, steering, suspension and engine sound.
Designed in Japan, the Civic Type R’s new body is 0.8-inches longer, 0.5-inches lower and 0.6-inches wider with broad fenders flared out over wider tracks. Lightweight 19-inch matte black alloy wheels are wrapped in wider (+20mm) bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The new wheels use a special “reverse rim” design that improves the stability of the tire contact patch under load.
Inside, there are also a few upgrades that are worth shouting home about. Honda says that in the new Civic Type R FL5, the driver sits lower than ever in iconic Recaro bucket seats. It also gets the largest touchscreen fitted to a Type R, with the latest infotainment software, as well as a new LogR datalogger that no longer requires a phone app.
Civic Type R FL5 development
“Type R is very important for Honda as the pinnacle of our factory performance and an irreplaceable brand that enables enthusiasts to experience Honda’s racing spirit, and seek the ultimate in speed and driving pleasure,” said Hideki Kakinuma, global Civic Type R development leader. “The all-new Civic Type R will continue that legacy, leveraging Honda’s racetrack-proven engineering to deliver extreme performance and passion—both on the road and on the racetrack.”
“With the all-new Civic Type R, Honda engineers have again delivered on our goal to create the most rewarding driving experience in the performance hatchback segment,” said Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe. “Through exceptional advancements and the application of motorsport-derived technologies, we have exceeded the capabilities of even the stripped out, lightweight version of the previous model. It is this dedication to performance excellence that has made the Civic Type R so popular with driving purists for 25 years.”
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R FL5 will be available in five colors: historic Championship White, Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.